Articles Posted in Estate Planning

The amount of attention as well as the volume of digital currencies like Bitcoin is at an all time high. 

Digital currency is just one of several trends away from traditional assets and towards digital elements. While digital currency has made business in some senses much easier, digital currency also present some challenges. 

For one, when the owners of digital currency die or become incapacitated, digital currencies can make the transfer of assets much more complex. This is because traditional estate planning documents were not designed to address the numerous challenges that can arise with digital currency. 

Remarriage among individuals who are 55 and older increased approximately 15 percent between 1960 to 2013. 

No matter the reason for remarriage, estate planning often becomes much more complex when a new partner is involved. These issues can be made even more complex if a couple makes the decision to remarry later in life.

# 1 – Determine what Each Person Brought into the Marriage

There are a number of common estate planning errors that we see people make. These errors occur in almost equal proportion among the wealthiest as well as individuals of modest means. 

In the hopes of making the estate planning process more efficient for everyone, this article reviews some of the most common mistakes made by people during the estate plan.

# 1 – Not Having an Estate Plan

After creating an estate plan, you might think that you’ve made all of the steps necessary to plan for your future. 

Instead, it is just as important to make sure that estate planning documents are stored in a safe location. This article reviews some of the various options that people utilize to make sure that estate planning documents are safely stored.

# 1 – A Lawyer Holds the Documents

Many of us don’t keep our assets in tangible items. Instead, many people’s assets are retirement accounts including 401(k)s, IRAs, and worker benefit plans. 

One way in which retirement accounts differ from more tangible assets is that wills do not dictate how individual accounts are disposed. As a result, it is vital to make sure that beneficiary designations on individual retirement accounts are properly updated. 

After all, there are a number of events including births and deaths, which can greatly impact a person’s estate plans.

A recurring theme in estate planning is that it is not a once and done activity. Instead, it is critical to revise estate plans following major life changes. 

One of the countless life changes that many people still do not think necessitates changes to estate plans is divorce. In reality, divorce changes a number of things about asset ownership as well as forever alters plans that a couple might have for the future. 

If you’re navigating the divorce process, you might encounter irrevocable trusts

The federal estate tax is a tax that is placed on a person’s estate after death. 

While many people are familiar with this general concept, they have a number of more specific questions about what the federal estate tax does and does not include. 

For one, many people confuse estate taxes with income taxes. One difference between these two is that estate taxes are not a tax placed on a person’s income.

It’s a tale as old as time. A couple is married for several years and during that time, the couple successfully grows a small business into a million dollar one. The couple’s marriage ultimately does not last and they divorce. Because the couple is still young, they do not have any estate plans. Tragedy strikes and the husband or wife does not survive. Because the deceased person’s will was never change, all of their assets are inherited by the estranged spouse rather than the deceased person’s family. 

This story demonstrates why it is important to revise your estate plans during a divorce. In addition to making certain that estate planning advice is followed, this article reviews some of the other important advice that you follow after a divorce.

# 1  – Update Your Healthcare Proxy

The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals in Northport Health Services v. Posey recently reversed a lower court’s decision to grant summary judgment in a wrongful death action. One son in the Posey family in this case had signed the admission agreement of his brother at a resident rehabilitation center owned by Northport, which included an arbitration agreement. Northport then sought to compel arbitration and the district court granted this motion. The brother then appealed claiming that the district court misapplied the third-party beneficiary theory to the case because there was no underlying agreement between the Posey family and Northport. 

Making the decision to place a loved one in a rehabilitation center after they are in the hospital can be a difficult decision. Reviewing the associated terms of any agreements concerning a loved one’s care are just one of the many things that you should make sure to do. Fortunately, by following the advice below, this process can be made much easier. 

# 1 – Plan for Discharge as Soon as Possible

Estate planning is a difficult activity, but it’s a necessary one. Many people, however, that estate planning is only necessary for the richest of the rich. In reality, most people can benefit from some form of estate planning. 

There are a number of different options when a person begins to consider how to create a successful estate plan. One of these options is a revocable trust, which can be used as a substitute for a will. Instead of having your assets proceed through probate after your death, assets are passed through a private entity referred to as a trust. 

The trust is classified as revocable because it can be changed at any time. Revocable trusts exist in contrast to irrevocable trusts, which are capable of being used to “shelter” assets from an estate. 

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